Instructables

We’re Mike and Melody, two crafty and musical tinkerers who met one night and fell in love. Doing a DIY wedding was hard work, but also a lot of fun that paid off in the end. We took many liberties with our big day, but stuck with the basic formula that an awesome wedding = good food, good booze, and good music. We’ll show you how we filled in the other details.
Visualizing the dozens of details that need to be planned is key. Mike found a big chalk board being discarded by a local high school and this was used as our organizational home base.

Step 1: Save-The-Dates

Picture of Save-The-Dates
Being collectors, we had an extensive inventory of unused cardstock, so we took what was on hand to make save-the-date postcards (which also saved on postage).

Melody drew a silly drawing in MS Paint and then imported it into Photoshop and pasted in photographs for the heads.

Step 2: Invitations

Picture of Invitations
0004.JPG
0005.JPG
0006.JPG

  We bought a package of plain white card stock and worked in Photoshop for the invitations. Mike proposed during a cross-country trip that included passing through Nashville, where we were inspired by the designs of Hatch Show Prints . The front of the invitations were drawn by Melody (which includes the barn and our three cats). After scanning and cleaning it up in photoshop, we included an RSVP as a cut-out postcard. This kept the invitations light enough for a regular first class stamp and we only had to use postcard stamps for the RSVPs. A boning tool was used to fold the invitations, then stuffed into colorful envelopes bought from Staples.

Step 3: Centerpieces

Picture of Centerpieces
0007.JPG
0008.JPG

We bought wooden craft birdhouses from Michael’s while they were on sale, and acrylic paint with the theory that it could be used later on for random craft projects. Doing this was much easier and inexpensive than bouquets and vases while fitting in with our eclectic barn wedding. We sprayed the birdhouses with acrylic to seal them, added wire and (musically themed) name tags for the tables, then put local honey jars around the centerpieces for favors.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
Suzayn3 years ago
This is fantastic! I absolutely love your wedding!
lrohret9 months ago

This is inspiring! Thanks for posting and congrats!!!!

molokie323 years ago
I was one of the bridesmaids in this amazing wedding. It was such a good time, they worked so hard and it definately paid off. The entire wedding was so personal, little bits of who Melody and Mike are (and why they are made for each other) in all the details. I have been to all kinds of weddings and this one had by far the most heart, something you can't buy anywhere.

The only thing missing was the honeymoon. Directly (2 days) after the wedding these two had to move from the countryside back to the city so Mike could start a graduate degree.

If they win this contest, they can finally get the honeymoon they deserve.
lflorence3 years ago
It's awesome and abosolutely cute wedding. It shows a lot of love and happiness among the participants. I'm proud of you guys. Job well done.

Leno
PushTheOtherButton (author) 3 years ago
Hi Phil - Thanks for the comments. There were so many details to be packed into the instructable that we judiciously left some out. You make some good points though. We had a friend that we know to be an accomplished orator, entertainer, and sage become ordained and planned the ceremony along with him. He interviewed us extensively beforehand. We also wrote our own vows and recited them simultaneously.

We did hire professional photographers, but only for the ceremony and posed shots of the wedding party and family immediately after. This saved money and still provided us with high quality yet memorable photos.

The guest list is definitely tricky. We considered a very small wedding, but then quickly realized that you could either go very small, or very large, lest you risk bruising the egos of friends and family. Luckily we had a fairly reasonable group size of 130.
Phil B3 years ago
I am a pastor and have been officiating at weddings since about 1975. After a very few years, I kept telling myself I should write a book on how to be married for $50. It would be more like $200 now with inflation.

A lot depends on the setting where the wedding will happen. I have done weddings in someone's backyard, but most have been in a church. Anyone planning a wedding to be held in a church should keep in mind that any church will have its own standards for things that happen in it, and those standards will need to be considered as you plan. As a general rule, if something should not be done in a Sunday morning worship service, it should not be done in a church wedding, either. Some couples are very surprised to learn that. Our congregation has a booklet that offers helps and suggestions, as well as outlining policies for what is allowed in a wedding at our church. Also, one of our main interests is not to be a public hall where couples may book weddings, but to surround a couple with a community of believers within which their marriage may grow long after the wedding is done. If you are not a member and regular participant in that congregation, you should be generous with gratuities for the services of the pastor, the organist, the janitor, and the use of the building.

Digital cameras have made getting good photographs much easier. But, too often people want to take wedding photos inside a large dark church without understanding lighting problems in a setting like that. This Instructable will be a big help to anyone who has never taken photos inside a large building before.

People are usually fond of showing off their photos. Ask your friends to bring their cameras and take pictures freely at your wedding festivities. These days, they can even send photos to you by e-mail. You could assemble quite a nice wedding album from photos sent to you by friends. Be aware that etiquette for photography in a wedding usually means no flash photos during the service and also means remaining invisible, as well as very discrete.

I once met a couple who had been married almost 50 years. Their wedding happened at the height of The Great Depression. No one had any money. They made arrangements with their pastor to have their wedding in his office on a Saturday afternoon. She wore her best dress and he wore his one and only suit. Two friends acted as witnesses. They were married in about 15 minutes. They did not have a big party, but they had a long marriage.

In order to have a wedding for less money, I always thought the reception could be a potluck in someone's back yard. Invite friends who would not mind bringing a dish of food to share. (Maybe that is crude "guy-think.")

If you want to keep the cost of a wedding lower, carefully watch the number of attendants on each side of the bride and groom. Each time an extra man and woman are added to the list of attendants, the whole wedding scales upward to become more expensive and more involved.

Nearly all of the weddings at which I officiate are for people who have some involvement in our church. We meet together several times to talk about marriage and how to have a good one. I also lead them through a self-assessment tool so they gain some understanding of themselves for forming a better relationship. We talk about fighting fair, and sometimes about budgeting, too. Regardless of how and where you are married, I would encourage couples to attend a marriage enrichment seminar periodically and to read a good book on staying married every few years.